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What affects the accuracy of drug test kits?

What affects the accuracy of drug test kits

Drug test kits are an essential tool used to detect drugs and are becoming more common in the workplace and for personal screening at home. The accuracy of a drug test kit is crucial in determining whether a person has used drugs and can have significant implications for the future of the test subject, including loss of employment or even legal consequences.

The accuracy of a drug test kit can be affected by several factors, including handling and storage. Understanding these factors can help ensure accurate drug test results and increase the effectiveness of drug testing programmes.

Here, we’ll explore the various factors that impact the accuracy of drug test kits and provide some best practices to ensure that results from drug test kits are to the highest level of accuracy. Whether you’re a workplace health and safety official or simply conducting personal drug testing, this blog post will shed light on drug testing and help you make informed decisions.

What factors affect the accuracy of drug test kits

The factors that affect the accuracy or drug test kits include the type of test being conducted, the quality of the test, how the sample has been handled and also individual factors such as the test subject's metabolism, age, gender and more. A breakdown of each factor can be found below.

Type of testing

There are various drug tests available, with each of them having varying levels of accuracy. Each test has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of accuracy. The four main types of drug tests are urine, saliva, blood and hair, with the first two being the most commonly used as they are less invasive and are better at detecting drugs used in recent history.

Hair drug testing possesses a longer drug detection window, meaning that it can detect the presence of drugs within one’s system over a longer period of time of up to 90 days. However, they are more expensive. Blood drug tests also have longer drug detection windows but are considered invasive.

Saliva and urine drug testing has gained popularity for their easy administration and fast results. Andatech drug test kits come in both oral and urine type of testing and deliver results within minutes.

READ MORE: How long do drugs stay in your system?

Quality of test

Factors that determine the quality of a drug test kit include the sensitivity and reliability of the kit. It is important to choose a reputable supplier and ensure that the testing process (if done by the supplier) follows strict protocols and guidelines.

Andatech drug test kits comply with Australian Standards cut-off limits and can test up to 11 major drug groups in a single test, with results being displayed in as fast as 10 minutes.

Collection and handling

The collection and handling of urine or saliva samples is a crucial step in drug testing that can significantly impact the accuracy of results. Unprofessional sample collection can lead to false positive or false negative test results. Some of the most common collection and handling errors include:

  • Contamination – this happens when foreign substances find their way into the collected sample. An example of this could be a saliva collection swab being contaminated with food or drink substances that may interfere with results. It’s best to wait 15 to 20 minutes after eating before collecting a saliva sample to ensure the most accurate results.
  • Dilution – specifically for urine test samples, if a test subject drinks large amounts of water before submitting a urine sample, the concentration of drugs in the urine sample may become too diluted to the point where it falls below the detection limit. Test subjects may also use diuretics to dilute drug concentrations in urine samples to circumvent tests.
  • Handling – mishandling of the sample during transportation, storage, or analysis can also lead to inaccurate results. For instance, leaving the sample out in the open or exposing it to light, heat, or moisture can degrade the sample and affect the test results. Similarly, if the sample is not stored at the right temperature, it can lead to inaccurate results.

LEARN MORE: Get accredited for HLTPAT005 and become a competent alcohol and drug testing officer in Australia

Individual factors

Similar to how alcohol affects individuals differently, individual factors can also affect the accuracy of drug test results. These factors include age, gender, underlying health conditions, diet, hydration and drug history.

It’s also important to note that different individual factors can vary from person to person and can affect drug test accuracy in different ways.

How to ensure accurate drug testing results?

To achieve accurate drug testing results, it’s important to choose high-quality drug test kits that abide by regulations laid out by governing bodies from reputable suppliers. Apart from this, personnel administering the test should be properly trained and follow the instructions carefully as laid out by the manufacturer.

Additionally, ensuring the proper collection and handling of urine or saliva samples is critical. The testing environment should also be controlled to prevent any external factors that could affect the accuracy of the test. If these steps are followed, employers can be confident in the accuracy of their drug testing results and take appropriate action to ensure a safe and drug-free workplace.

In brief, here’s how to ensure accurate drug testing results

  • Purchase drug test kits from a reputable supplier
  • Officials administering the test should be properly trained
  • Ensure proper collection and handling
  • Control the test environment
  • Maintain a strict chain of custody protocol
  • Create clear guidelines for alcohol and drug testing at the workplace

READ MORE: Creating a drug and alcohol policy

Browse through the wide collection of Andatech urine and saliva drug test kits to start creating a safer Australia today. For more information on alcohol and drug testing in Australia, check out the following resources: